Type A and Type B personality theory
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Type A and Type B personality theory is a theory that describes two common, contrasting personality types — the high-strung Type A and the easy-going Type B — as patterns of behavior that could either raise or lower, respectively, one's chances of developing coronary heart disease. It was originally published in the 1950s.
Though it has been widely controversial in the scientific and medical communities since its publication, the theory has nonetheless persisted, both in the form of pop psychology and in the general lexicon, as a way to describe one's personality. Such descriptions are still often equated with coronary heart disease or other health issues, and not always as a direct result of the theory.
Type A personality behavior was first described as a potential risk factor for heart disease in the 1950s by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman. After an eight and a half year long study of healthy men between the ages of 35 and 59, Friedman and Rosenman estimated that Type A behavior doubles the risk of coronary heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals. The individuals enrolled in this study were followed well beyond the original time frame of the study. Subsequent analysis indicated that although Type A personality is associated with the incidence of coronary heart disease, it does not seem to be a risk factor for mortality. This research had a significant effect on the development of the health psychology field, in which psychologists look at how an individual's mental state affects his or her physical health.
The types 
Type A 
The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence. (citation needed)
In his 1996 book, Type A Behavior: Its Diagnosis and Treatment, Friedman suggests that Type A behavior is expressed in three major symptoms: free-floating hostility, which can be triggered by even minor incidents; time urgency and impatience, which causes irritation and exasperation usually described as being "short-fused"; and a competitive drive, which causes stress and an achievement-driven mentality. The first of these symptoms is believed to be covert and therefore less observable, while the other two are more overt. 
Type B 
The theory describes Type B individuals as a contrast to those with Type A personalities. People with Type B personality by definition generally live at a lower stress level and typically work steadily, enjoying achievement but not becoming stressed when they are not achieved. When faced with competition, they do not mind losing and either enjoy the game or back down. They may be creative and enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are often reflective, thinking about the outer and inner worlds.
Limitations of the original study comprise the inclusion of only middle-aged men and the lack of information regarding the diets of those subjects. While the latter could serve as a confounding variable, the former calls into question whether the findings can be generalized to the remaining male population or to the female population as a whole.
It should be noted, however, that Friedman et al. (1986) conducted a randomized controlled trial on 862 male and female post myocardial infarction patients, ruling out (by probabilistic equivalence) diet and other confounds. Subjects in the control group received group cardiac counseling, and subjects in the treatment group received cardiac counseling plus Type-A counseling. The recurrence rate was 28% in the control group and 13% in the treatment group, a strong and statistically significant finding.
Other issues 
Some scholars argue that Type A behavior is not a good predictor of coronary heart disease. According to research by Redford Williams of Duke University, the hostility component of Type A personality is the only significant risk factor. Thus, it is a high level of expressed anger and hostility, not the other elements of Type A behavior, that constitute the problem.
Other studies 
A study was performed that tested the effect of psychosocial variables, in particular personality and stress, as risk factors for cancer and coronary heart disease. In this study, four personality types were recorded. Type 1 personality is cancer prone, Type 2 is CHD prone, Type 3 is alternating between behaviors characteristic of Types 1 and 2, and Type 4 is a healthy, autonomous type hypothesized to survive best. The data suggests that the Type 1 probands die mainly from cancer, type 2 from CHD, whereas Type 3 and especially Type 4 probands show a much lower death rate. Two additional types of personalities were measured, Type 5 and Type 6. Type 5 is a rational anti-emotional type, which shows characteristics common to Type 1 and Type 2. Type 6 personality shows psychopathic tendencies and is prone to drug addiction and AIDS.
While most studies attempt to show the correlation between personality types and coronary heart disease, studies have suggested that mental attitudes constitute an important prognostic factor for cancer. As a method of treatment for cancer-prone patients, behavior therapy is used  The patient is taught to express his/her emotions more freely, in a socially acceptable manner, to become autonomous and be able to stand up for his/her rights. Behavior therapy would also teach them how to cope with stress-producing situations more successfully. The effectiveness of therapy in preventing death in cancer and CHD is evident. The statistical data associated with higher death rates is impressive. Other measures of therapy have been attempted, such as group therapy. The effects were not as dramatic as behavior therapy, but still showed improvement in preventing death among cancer and CHD patients.
From the study above, several conclusions have been made. A relationship between personality and cancer exists, along with a relationship between personality and coronary heart disease. Personality type acts as a risk factor for diseases and interacts synergistically with other risk factors, such as smoking and heredity. It has been statistically proven that behavior therapy can significantly reduce the likelihood of cancer or coronary heart disease mortality. On the contrary, psychoanalysis can increase the likelihood of cancer and coronary heart disease mortality drastically (Citation need. This has no supporting evidence). Studies suggest that both body and mental disease arise from each other. Mental disorders arise from physical causes, and likewise, physical disorders arise from mental causes. While Type A personality did not show a strong direct relationship between its attributes and the cause of coronary heart disease, other types of personalities have shown strong influences on both cancer-prone patients and those prone to coronary heart disease.
See also 
- Friedman, M.; Rosenman, R. (1959). "Association of specific overt behaviour pattern with blood and cardiovascular findings". Journal of the American Medical Association (169): 1286–1296.
- Ragland, D.; Brand, R. (1988). "Type A Behavior and Mortality from Coronary Heart Disease". The New England Journal of Medicine 318: 65–69.
- Eysenck, H.J. (1990). Type A Behavior and Coronary Heart Disease: The Third Stage. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 5, 25-44.
- Friedman, M. (1996). Type A Behavior: Its Diagnosis and Treatment. New York, Plenum Press (Kluwer Academic Press), pp. 31 ff.
- Friedman, Meyer; Carl E. Thoresen; James J. Gill; Diane Ulmer; Lynda H. Powell; Virginia A. Price; Byron Brown; Leonti Thompson; David D. Rabin; William S. Breall; Edward Bourg; Richard Levy; Theodore Dixon (1 October 1986). "Alteration of type A behavior and its effect on cardiac recurrences in post myocardial infarction patients: Summary results of the recurrent coronary prevention project". American Heart Journal 112 (4): 653–665. doi:10.1016/0002-8703(86)90458-8.
- "Bates, K. L. (2006). Type A personality not linked to heart disease". Retrieved 2006-11-05.
- Williams, R. B. (2001). Hostility: Effects on health and the potential for successful behavioral approaches to prevention and treatment. In A. Baum, T. A. Revenson & J. E. Singer (Eds.) Handbook of Health Psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Grossarth-Maticek, R., & Eysenck, H. J., & Vetter, H., 1988
- Grossarth-Maticek, R., & Eysenck, H. J., & Vetter, H. (1988). Personality Type, Smoking Habit and Their Interaction as Predictors of Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease. Personality and Individual Differences, 9, 479-495
- Grossarth-Maticek, R., & Eysenck, H. J. (1991). Creative Novation Behaviour Therapy as a Prophylactic Treatment for Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease: I. Description of Treatment. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 29, 1-16.
- Eysenck, H.J. (1986). Smoking and Health. In R. Tollison (Ed.), Smoking and Health (pp. 17-88). Lexington, MA: Lexington